SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) has announced publication of the latest edition of its biannual Directory of Copper Mines and Plants. It provides facility-wise and country-wise capacity across the globe through 2026 and detailed analysis of the trends in copper mine, smelter and refinery production.
During the previous year, operational constraints related to the Covid-19 pandemic and global lockdown led to a decline in capacity utilization rates to around 81.7% of the total capacity. The production rates were also impacted by strikes, adverse weather conditions and accidents. The capacity utilization rates had averaged at around 85% during the five years prior to the pandemic.
ICSG foresees notable improvement in the pipeline of major copper mine projects, after a few years which witnessed practically no commissioning of new major copper mines. Beyond 2026, a large number of copper mine projects are currently being evaluated, the report said.
Over the period from 2022 to 2026, the annual copper smelter capacity is expected to grow at an average of around 3% per year. During the same period, the annual copper refinery capacity is projected to grow at an average rate of 2% per year.